Gadkari for raising water transport to 15%

| | New Delhi

Maintaining that the Centre is committed to ensure  the success of ‘Make in India’ initiative, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said the high logistics cost will be brought down to 12 per cent and the share of waterways transportation will be raised to 15 per cent in the next five years. At present, the country’s logistics cost is 18 per cent while barely 3.5 per cent of goods are transported through waterways.

Speaking after releasing a joint report on logistics done by IIM-Calcutta and Transport Corporation of India (TIC), Gadkari also said that India suffers a huge loss of $21.3 billion annually on account of delays and additional fuel consumption due to poor road conditions and frequent halts, says a study.  The report is based on joint survey of road freight transportation along 28 key routes in the country.

“Make in India scheme will be a great success if we can bring down the high logistics cost from 18 per cent to at least 12 per cent. In China, it is 8 per cent. The Government is making efforts in this direction as goods transportation through water costs barely 20 paise per km in comparison to Rs1.5 a km through road and Rs1 per km through railways,” Gadkari said.

He urged logistic companies like TCI and others to shift from roads to water transportation and buy ships saying massive work is underway on waterways which is the Government’s top priority.

“Our target is to ensure at least 15 per cent of goods transport through water in the next five years. At present, barely 3.5 per cent of the goods transportation in India takes through this route,” the Minister said.

The report has suggested that the Government simplify and standardise the rules and regulations across different transportation modes to facilitate multi-modal transportation, it recommended. Also it stressed that the Government should remove all infrastructural bottlenecks to boost the movement of domestic freight by inland waterways.

“In India, the scope of multi-modal transportation remained limited, given that most of the freight was carried by roads and the rest by railways. The share of waterways and airways in carrying domestic freight was almost insignificant. Road transportation was door-to-door, reliable and efficient, with vehicles available almost in real-time. Railways, on the other hand, suffered from inefficiency, poor service, loading delays and the unavailability of rakes,” the study said.

“If the average statistics for the 28 major routes surveyed approximately represent the national average, it may be inferred that while average stoppage delays per km have remained almost the same as in 2011-12, average stoppage expenses per tonne-km worsened during the same period. The average contribution margin improved in 2014-15,” the study said.



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